Tech The Halls
I've talked about the benefits of technology in our daily lives here, here and here. But, today I'm going to talk about the advantages of technology during the holidays. Make a list and check it twice!
Of course, shopping is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Deloitte reports that 47% of US shoppers are expected to make purchases online this holiday season, making it the most popular shopping channel. Things like Amazon prime, Retail-developed shopping apps and virtual coupons allow us to shop more effectively, find better deals and get more shopping done in less time.
- Download shopping apps. Try out "Gift Plan," to track holiday wish lists, "The Find," to find the best prices or "Black Friday," to view store ads, promotions and even navigate crowds.
- Shop Online & skip the lines. You can get great online deals on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Green Monday.
- Plan ahead! Lots of retailers have already published their Black Friday specials online. If you plan on braving the crowds, start planning your route now. And be sure download "Parking in Motion" to snag a good spot.
Technology can save a ton of time when it comes to preparing holiday meals. Instead of hand-written lists and recipes on index cards, try using your tablet to stay sane in the kitchen:
- Download apps like "Menu Maker" and "Food52" which allow you create a customized holiday menu, make a shopping list, and create a cooking schedule to keep your holiday meal on track.
- Would you prefer to stay out of the grocery store all together? Shop online! Just find a local store, add items to your cart and you can pick up all of your ingredients prepared, packed and organized for your kitchen.
Keep it Together
The holidays are typically spent with family and friends but technology can help us to stay in touch even when we're far apart:
- Skype is free and easy to use. Wherever you are and wherever they are- Skype allows you to text, talk and video chat no matter how far the distance.
- Social Media! Everyone enjoys a hand-written Christmas card, but today it's easier than ever to keep in touch through Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. Post lots of updates to keep your friends and family connected.
- Share photo's online. Even if you're not all in the same place, sites like Flickr and Shutterfly help everyone to feel close. Share pictures so that everyone can see how you're celebrating.
- Give a gift. Just because you're not going to celebrate together doesn't mean you can't share in the holiday spirit. Lots of retailers offer free shipping making it easy to show your appreciation for everyone on your shopping list.
Got other ways that you plan on using your phones, tablets and laptops this Holiday season? Post a comment and tell us what keeps you sane during the winter months!